Trauma | Inhalation & Chemical Burns

Specific Types of Burn Injuries

Inhalation: 20-35% of all patients admitted to burn centers. Happens in closed environments i.e. building, car, plane. Dangers are:

  • Heat
  • Fire consumes O2, none left to breathe
  • Production of Carbon Monoxide and other toxic gases
    • Displaces O2 on the hemoglobin
    • 250x the affinity that O2 has for hemoglobin
  • Supraglottic: thermal injury to the airway from superheated air
  • Infraglottic (rare): lung parenchyma and toxic material inhalation

Chemical Burns: alkalis, acids and organic compounds. Find out the type, concentration, volume, mechanism of injury, time of contamination etc.


  • Brush off any dry chemicals
  • Rinse for at least 20 min. with water

Most by strong acid or alkalis. Fumes can burn too, especially respiratory tract. Don’t get any on you.

Consider calling HazMat. Brush dry chemicals off, them flush with water. 15-20 minutes after patient says it’s stopped burning.

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